According to the Ministry of Justice, the new system will enable more separated parents to reach agreement about their children's care arrangements without the need for Court action or lawyers.
The Ministry's website about the system can be found here.
While the goal of enabling parents to reach their own agreements about their children's care is an admirable one, you should still obtain some legal advice as to your rights and responsibilities as a parent or guardian. This will ensure that the decisions you reach are the most appropriate for your children and that your important role as your children's parent and guardian is recognised.
Low income clients are likely to be eligible for free legal advice about the new system under the Family Legal Advice Service. Look for a Family Law specialist who can offer this service in Dunedin.
For urgent matters where a child's safety is at risk and/or where there has been domestic violence, clients are still able to make an application to the Family Court and to access legal aid (if otherwise eligible).
Note that the new Family Justice System does not affect other applications to the Court such as Domestic Violence, Relationship Property, Paternity or Adoption. It is recommended you obtain legal advice before embarking on Court action in respect of any of these matters.